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5E Cleric with Warlock Spell List - Good, Bad, Indifferent?

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Supporter
If you were playing a cleric that used the warlock spell list instead of the cleric spell list, would that substitution make that class weaker, stronger, or pretty much the same?

Also, are there any cleric domains that would have some strong synergies with that spell list?
 

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jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
I think it would stay pretty much the same, but the character of the class would change from more support to more offensive. Would you still get the same domains spells? If so then I think life cleric might be borderline too good, since it would get most of the best cleric spells from its domain. Not healing word though.
 

I think it would stay pretty much the same, but the character of the class would change from more support to more offensive. Would you still get the same domains spells? If so then I think life cleric might be borderline too good, since it would get most of the best cleric spells from its domain. Not healing word though.
Magic initiate: Cleric, then chose one cantrip and healing word. Done.
This would be too powerful and would open for metagaming and abuses. I might be wrong. But Eldritch blasting with wisdom bonuses and being able to heal makes up for a strong combination. Healing word to heal, EB to.. well...blast. Every round every time. Do you see the potential here? Of course the cleric would still miss the features to boost EB but it would be stronger than what he has right now. In addition to now being a ranged attacker the character will be in plate and able to heal himself almost at will. Am I the only one that sees this as way too good?
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
Magic initiate: Cleric, then chose one cantrip and healing word. Done.
This would be too powerful and would open for metagaming and abuses. I might be wrong. But Eldritch blasting with wisdom bonuses and being able to heal makes up for a strong combination. Healing word to heal, EB to.. well...blast. Every round every time. Do you see the potential here? Of course the cleric would still miss the features to boost EB but it would be stronger than what he has right now. In addition to now being a ranged attacker the character will be in plate and able to heal himself almost at will. Am I the only one that sees this as way too good?
Are you thinking of a life cleric getting the domain spells here? I don't think magic initiate in itself is too bad, you only get one casting that way. And the lack of invocations makes EB a lot less potent; it's better than sacred flame, but I don't think its that much better. It's really the combination of the warlock and domain spells that is the problem IMO. If you revised the domain spell lists somehow I think it could work.

But somehow it seems a lot easier to make a new domain and put some warlock spells you want in it.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
I can't imagine it pushing things too far out of balance. They already gave one subclass access to a whole other spell list in addition to their normal one, so just a swap seems fine. I don't think EB with WIS mods is a big deal either. It's more than most clerics get, but it's not any different than the bunch of other options than add stat mods to cantrip damage. I'm not sure about Domain synergy though. If I was the DM that's something I'd take a careful look at before OKing the swap.
 

jgsugden

Hero
Magic initiate: Cleric, then chose one cantrip and healing word. Done....
This does not add the spell to your spells available. It merely allows you to cast it once per day. You can't use slots to cast it. You also get 2 cantrips.

Regarding the original question: there are a few spells on the Warlock list - most notably Hex - that are intended to be more feature than spell. Giving them freely to other classes can be problematic. However, you can add it to you spell list by adding one level of Warlock as a multi-class, so it is not that hard to get some of these spells (although that also requires you to make a pact...)

Will this switch break the game? No. It may be a bit awkward at times, but it should be fine.

However, you might consider just playing a Divine Soul Sorcerer for this type of feel.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Supporter
I can't imagine it pushing things too far out of balance. They already gave one subclass access to a whole other spell list in addition to their normal one, so just a swap seems fine. I don't think EB with WIS mods is a big deal either. It's more than most clerics get, but it's not any different than the bunch of other options than add stat mods to cantrip damage. I'm not sure about Domain synergy though. If I was the DM that's something I'd take a careful look at before OKing the swap.
To be clear, Eldritch Blast would be off the table for this concept.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Supporter
However, you might consider just playing a Divine Soul Sorcerer for this type of feel.
Nah, that's the exact opposite feel of what I want. I specifically don't want healing spells for this character, the concept is more "ex-soldier who has granted unwanted dark powers". He uses sword and shield, and sometimes weird stuff just happens when he feels threatened.
 

This does not add the spell to your spells available. It merely allows you to cast it once per day. You can't use slots to cast it. You also get 2 cantrips.
I think this is debatable.
From the PHB: Choose one 1st level spell. You learn that spell and can cast it at its lowest level. Once you cast it, you must finish a long rest before you can cast it again.

You learn. So you know it. For a champion, a rogue or a monk; one casting is ample enough. But for a caster? You did learn that spell. In essence, it is alway prepared. You have one free cast. But if you have spell slots? Should it be akin to a wizard learning a new spell? We voted for the feat to add the spell to the spell list as the debate was quite raging in my area. Is there a SA on this subject?
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
To be clear, Eldritch Blast would be off the table for this concept.
Eldritch Blast without Agonizing Blast isn't a big deal IMO. But off the table works too. What's the concept being worked here? My first thought was a Cleric of an Old One religion or cult.
 

In my experience players use the Arcane initiate feat heavily for Warlock. Usually to get Eldritch Blast. If you don't have a ranged option in combat, that may be worth while. Less common is to use it for Wizard to get a familiar. A cleric with a familiar could have some interesting options.
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
I think this is debatable.
From the PHB: Choose one 1st level spell. You learn that spell and can cast it at its lowest level. Once you cast it, you must finish a long rest before you can cast it again.

You learn. So you know it. For a champion, a rogue or a monk; one casting is ample enough. But for a caster? You did learn that spell. In essence, it is alway prepared. You have one free cast. But if you have spell slots? Should it be akin to a wizard learning a new spell? We voted for the feat to add the spell to the spell list as the debate was quite raging in my area. Is there a SA on this subject?
That isn't crazy, but the official ruling says no. Here is the Sage Advice explanation:
If you have spell slots, can you use them to cast the 1st level spell you learn with the Magic Initiate feat?

Yes, but only if the class you pick for the feat is one of your classes. For example, if you pick sorcerer and you are a sorcerer, the Spellcasting feature for that class tells you that you can use your spell slots to cast the sorcerer spells you know, so you can use your spell slots to cast the 1st-level sorcerer spell you learn from Magic Initiate. Similarly, if you are a wizard and pick that class for the feat, you learn a 1st-level wizard spell, which you could add to your spellbook and subsequently prepare.

In short, you must follow your character’s normal spellcasting rules, which determine whether you can expend spell slots on the 1st-level spell you learn from Magic Initiate.
 


TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Supporter
Eldritch Blast without Agonizing Blast isn't a big deal IMO. But off the table works too. What's the concept being worked here? My first thought was a Cleric of an Old One religion or cult.
Yea, I don't think EB without AB is a big deal, but it doesn't fit the concept.

I'm still debating some ideas, but the general idea (this is for an Eberron game) is a Brelish soldier who got caught in the Mourning. He woke up two years later in Sharn with no memory of any time since the Mourning happened. (Personally, I have no idea what happened in those two years, but it's a fun hook to throw to the DM.) He's been scraping by with odd jobs since then. What doesn't help is that weird things keep hanging around him whenever he's stressed or threatened. He gets jumped by a mugger and suddenly flames lash out and burn the attacker alive. (Hellish Rebuke). Or a field of cold surrounds him that freezes the hands of a guy who tried to start a bar fight with him. (Armor of Agathys) Or a fellow job-seeker gets tongue-tied during their job interview. (Hex on Charisma)

I'd probably rely on Greenflame or Booming Blade as his main attack, which I'd reskin depending on what domain and overall character flavor I plan on picking. Knowledge is my current favorite (lots of ghostly whispers from dead soldiers, refluff to psychic damage), but I also like the idea of a heavy armor build, maybe using Tempest, Life, or Zeal or Strength from Plane Shift: Amonkhet.
 

The difficulty occurs with the way the cleric spell lists interacts with domains. For example the Life domain boosts healing, based on the assumption that your character has healing spells on their spell list.

Substituting the spell list of an Eldritch Knight or Ranger is less likely to cause issues.

Or you could develop a cleric domain with the warlock spells as granted spells.

Or Magic Initiate: Warlock could give you Booming Blade and either Hex or Armour of Agathys.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Yea, I don't think EB without AB is a big deal, but it doesn't fit the concept.

I'm still debating some ideas, but the general idea (this is for an Eberron game) is a Brelish soldier who got caught in the Mourning. He woke up two years later in Sharn with no memory of any time since the Mourning happened. (Personally, I have no idea what happened in those two years, but it's a fun hook to throw to the DM.) He's been scraping by with odd jobs since then. What doesn't help is that weird things keep hanging around him whenever he's stressed or threatened. He gets jumped by a mugger and suddenly flames lash out and burn the attacker alive. (Hellish Rebuke). Or a field of cold surrounds him that freezes the hands of a guy who tried to start a bar fight with him. (Armor of Agathys) Or a fellow job-seeker gets tongue-tied during their job interview. (Hex on Charisma)

I'd probably rely on Greenflame or Booming Blade as his main attack, which I'd reskin depending on what domain and overall character flavor I plan on picking. Knowledge is my current favorite (lots of ghostly whispers from dead soldiers, refluff to psychic damage), but I also like the idea of a heavy armor build, maybe using Tempest, Life, or Zeal or Strength from Plane Shift: Amonkhet.
See, that's a cool character concept.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Supporter
Or you could develop a cleric domain with the warlock spells as granted spells.
Sadly, that doesn't work for the concept I'm working on; I want the mainstays of the cleric spell list (bless, healing word, spiritual weapon, spirit guardians, etc) to be off the table. Simply not picking them doesn't appeal to me because so much of the class's power is built into that spell list, I'd rather modify the character and trade some of the power for something else.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Supporter
See, that's a cool character concept.
I like cleric for the concept because it doesn't get a lot of class features other than spellcasting (which fits the "normal guy but..." concept I want to build around), and it gets armor proficiencies to reflect an ex-soldier. Plus I definitely see this guy as having low-to-average Intelligence and Charisma, but high Wisdom definitely fits better. I don't mind swapping casting stats if it fits the character, but Wisdom is a much better stat than Int or Charisma, and I don't want to ask for like a Wisdom-based bard or sorcerer.
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
What domain would you want to play? War sounds appropriate, and I wouldn't expect any trouble combining that with the warlock spell list.
 

jgsugden

Hero
Nah, that's the exact opposite feel of what I want. I specifically don't want healing spells for this character, the concept is more "ex-soldier who has granted unwanted dark powers". He uses sword and shield, and sometimes weird stuff just happens when he feels threatened.
Then why not just play a Warlock? Don't like the low spell count? A couple levels of sorcerer gives you a broader spell base if that really bugs you.

I played a Hexblade to 6, then multi classed to sorcerer for 3 levels, then went Hexblade from there on in. A very fun PC.
 

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